BEIRUT, Lebanon (AP) – A prison riot near the Syrian capital of Damascus killed at least nine people Saturday, according to human rights activist in contact with the prisoners.
Mohammed Abdullah, a Beirut-based Syrian activist, told The Associated Press he was in contact with the prisoners through a cell phone belonging to one of the guards they had taken hostage.
The government did not immediately confirm the incident. Syrian authorities usually don’t comment on human rights reports or the situation inside prisons.
Muhannad al-Hassani, the head of Syria’s National Organization for Human Rights, told the AP by telephone that he could see smoke billowing from the prison and prisoners standing on the roof. He added that ambulances were ferrying the wounded to the hospital.
The Web site of the London-based Syrian Observatory for Human rights web site said 25 prisoners had been killed in Saturday’s riots.